She is one of the first Indians to lead an armed rebellion against the British.
About Rani Chennamma
- She was the Indian queen (rani) of Kittur, a princely state in present-day Karnataka.
- She led an armed rebellion against the British East India Company in 1824 in defiance of the doctrine of lapse in an attempt to maintain Indian control over the region, but was defeated and imprisoned.
- One of the first female rulers to rebel against British rule, she has become a folk hero in Karnataka and symbol of the independence movement in India.
- At the age of 15, she became the queen of Kittur (a taluk in present Belgaum) when she married the king of Kittur, Raja Mallasarja.
- Her husband died in 1816 leaving her with one son and heir to the throne. Unfortunately, the boy died in 1824. Chennamma adopted another boy Shivalingappa and made him the heir to the throne.
- The East India Company, however, did not recognise the adopted heir and proceeded to annex the kingdom. The Doctrine of Lapse, although codified later by Lord Dalhousie, was practised by the Company earlier also.
- Rani Chennamma rejected this illegitimate doctrine and refused to accept British sovereignty.
- She took up arms (she was trained in sword fighting, archery and horse riding from her childhood) and instigated a war with the company in 1824.
|Doctrine of lapse